Seen in a YouTube comment: “I’m sure there's other good products besides tiger balms that relieve pain, I don't use tiger balm because they kill tigers for it.”
When I posted this on my Facebook page, I got many interesting responses:
David: "They kill faces to produce facepalms as well."
Abel: "I dont drink Tiger beer for the same reason also."
Shaun: "They kill rabbits for 大白兔奶糖"
Jackie: "I'm fine with olive oil, but baby oil?"
David: "I always use Extra Virgin."
Alex: "How about Camel Nuts?"
Stella: "Hey don't laugh. I used to think Chee cheong fun was real pig intestine…"
Terrence: "How about Mama Lemon?"
Aric: "I don't mind people being vegetarian, but don't talk to me if you're a humanitarian."
Lillian: "What about fish balls?"
Kelvin: "Good luck to the person called Pocari. I think he's definitely working very hard to produce all that sweat."
When you first get your home, every renovation detail must be right. By the time you've lived in it for ten years, with three kids: masking tape.
Oh, the fancy glass from the wardrobe door fell off? Cover with pieces of art that the kids made.
In case you are wondering, the bird one on the top right was by Isaac, the flower on an ice-cream stick in the middle and the splatter piece on the bottom right were by Faith, while the rest were done by Joy.
This was written by a nurse friend of mine, let's call her "Nurse A". I thought it was very enlightening to read, a look at the societal perspective on the value of health:
[Photo of my brother tending to my mother who was recovering after her knee operation. She fractured her knee earlier this year.]
As more articles surface regarding nursing, lack of nurses and demand for pay raise, I only have one recurring thought — society has all our priorities wrong.
A nursing diploma is one of the least desirable — an aggregate of 28 points will get you a place in poly. Most say that is so that those who want to be a nurse, can be a nurse, regardless of grades. But that means that those who do not do well, or cannot study well in secondary school and cannot make it to say, Business, or Arts, may choose to study nursing.
Then this whole cycle starts:
1. It is not their interest, thus, many will drop out or not work as nurses even after graduating. And we wonder why polytechnics cannot churn out enough nurses to meet the need. They don't end up in the workforce.
1a. Don't get me wrong here, but healthcare is dealing with lives, with medicine. We let a bunch of people who can't study well and have poor results become nurses. Nurses who are dealing with your lives. A calculation error or an error in judgement can occur in anyone, but I just don't see why you want the smartest to become doctors and the not-so-academically-inclined to become nurses. (Note: I've seen people who are horrible in their studies go on to be awesome nurses, but you get my point about the different requirements for people who are technically in the same line and deal with life and death)
2. If they don't have a backup job to go to, they start working as nurses. Then you have a group of nurses who have zero interest in working as a nurse - You have a bunch of average nurses. A bunch of average nurses, who do the bare minimum, who ARE TAKING CARE OF YOUR ELDERLY FATHER. That's right.
3. And the pay. The pay is not enough. We work long hours, with high patient acuity, low manpower, short or no breaks, highly stressful environments, low recognition/ appreciation, and you get to deal with the unreasonable patient or family. How is it justifiable? Someone that deals with your money earns way more than someone that deals with your health. Obviously, money is more important than health to this society.
4. Then, people migrate or switch to the private sector. The pay in higher, the patient load lesser, and the satisfaction is higher. Then the workforce loses manpower.
There's more to this never ending cycle. But the main point is, society needs to review its priorities. Just raising the pay of nurses to "pacify" the nurses in the workforce now will not solve the problem. To breed a different class of nurses, it needs to start all the way from people's mindsets. From the start of education.
Just remember, you may be the world's richest billionaire, but if one day you are stuck in a hospital under the care of a underpaid, undereducated nurse who is working three jobs to support her family, who has 12 patients under her care, three hours of sleep, no food, a full bladder, five bloods to take, 7 medications to serve, money cannot save you then.
We had just finished lunch at the coffee shop and were driving home.
I took out some change from my shirt pocket and said to the wife, "Can put the $2 notes back into my wallet? I'm driving. Hey wait, you're doing it wrong. I like the big notes behind, small notes in front, and facing the same direction."
"I know," the Love of My Life replied, "I just want to irritate you."
My wife is such a troll.
Once again, it is National Day, our nation's 49th birthday. And what is National Day without some #iamsingaporean tweets, right?
Some background and trivia: "I Am Singaporean" actually started out as a series of audio podcasts that were recorded by me, Miyagi, my friends, and my favourite one, by my wife, in 2006. Go have a listen if you have never heard them.
Since then, I have been tweeting this hashtag almost every NDP because it is fun to declare what it means to be Singaporean. I kicked it off this morning and it has gone right through the trending roof, because, well, because we are all #iamsingaporean lah.
Oh, yes, before I forget: Happy 49th Birthday, Singapore!
1. @mrbrown: Other people Fourth of July go picnic. We Ninth of August go wet market and eat at hawker centre. #iamsingaporean
2. @syzzlyn: @mrbrown Hahahah Exactly what my parents did this morn… at Bedok Central. #iamsingaporean
3. @mrbrown: Want to scold, can scold me. We don't play mother one. #iamsingaporean
4. @mrbrown: Don't care how long the queue is, the queue so long must be the food very good. #iamsingaporean
5. @mrbrown: Must have my morning kopi or teh. #iamsingaporean
6. @miyagi: I live on an island, I fly abroad for island holidays #iamsingaporean
7. @miyagi: We care about national security, but we use our office keycards to chope seats. #iamsingaporean
8. @melpig: No kopi cannot work. #iamsingaporean
9. @Seat24Charlie: I pay good money to spend the weekend in a hotel 20 minutes away from my house #iamsingaporean
10. @HongJieOng: buying from your regular stall till they can memorize your order. #iamsingaporean
11. @mrbrown: When I say LJ, I don't mean LiveJournal. #iamsingaporean
12. @miyagi: #ManU, #Chelsea or #Liverpool can be our teams, but we dun know or support any S-League ones. #iamsingaporean
13. @mrbrown: Grandparents speak five dialects, parents speak one dialect (maybe), kids don't even know what their dialect group is. #iamsingaporean
14. @HaruLoku: You know you're Singaporean when you've never eaten these before #iamsingaporean (Eat liao will Merlion. -mb)
15. @furryphotos: Willing to queue 4 hours to book a table 3 months at a super popular restaurant. #iamsingaporean
16. @Gdy2shoez: I travel from Pasir Ris to new mall in Jurong because #iamsingaporean
17. @frhn: The #iamsingaporean tweets are hilarious. (Thank you. It's my yearly national duty. -mb)
18. @darrylho: #iamsingaporean No aircon will die
19. @MascotNila: Being able to instantly pick up a Singlish accent from across a crowded restaurant while overseas. #iamsingaporean
20. @mrbrown: One of the best public transport systems in the world. But not best enough for us because #iamsingaporean
21. @mrbrown: Four different cashless payment cards in one wallet. #iamsingaporean
22. @CDPPie: Knowing the difference between "air" and "air". #iamsingaporean (Baik lah! -mb)
23. @ronaldisthewan: I squatted by the drain to brush my teeth when I was a primary sch student for some national campaign. #iamsingaporean
24. @melpig: Order Milo by saying "tat kiew" at coffee shops. #iamsingaporean
25. @tstar: Go to hotel lobbies to use their toilets because the toilets are very nice #iamsingaporean
26. @hellofrmSG: .#iamsingaporean because when I see people starting this convo I also want to chap jin lai
27. @_shxrty_: Cold weather also tweet, hot weather also tweet. #iamsingaporean
28. @mrbrown: We are a nation of readers. #iamsingaporean
29. @zomgitsashok: National Day. Confirm must wear red. #iamsingaporean
30. @miyagi: Excited that many stores are offering 49% discounts. Can't wait for #SG100. #iamsingaporean
31. @tanhuiyi: I smuggle food & drinks from NTUC into Shaw or Golden Village #iamsingaporean
32, @Nyzms: Alamak. Here comes @mrbrown with his hashtag of the day. #iamsingaporean
34. @NeilHumphreys: Loving the #iamsingaporean stuff. loving it. (We love you too, Mr Humphreys. -mb)
35. @MothershipSG: #iamsingaporean because I think mee kia is spaghetti and mee pok is linguine
36. @funkshin: #iamsingaporean cos my bomb shelter is too full to protect me from bombs. (Where we keep the toilet rolls. -mb)
37. @ronaldisthewan: Every MRT stop has a shopping centre. #iamsingaporean (Almost, hor? -mb)
38. @lynnylchan: Sitting in the sun at Marina Bay to book my camera spot for fireworks later. #iamsingaporean
39. @ComradeTovarich: Because I complain about everything under the sun including the sun itself. #iamsingaporean
40. @yinghaoz: I type on WhatsApp faster than you type on computer because #iamsingaporean
41. @IanLeong93: Getting outraged that economic rice at food courts cost more than $5 #iamsingaporean
42. @frhn: All year long complain non-stop about the country but for one day, on 9 Aug, suddenly overly patriotic because #iamsingaporean.
43. @sarahcoldheart: I KNOW HOW TO DO THE GREAT SINGAPORE WORKOUT. #iamsingaporean (You more Singaporean than me then. Haha! -mb)
44. @chezevo: I am very amused by @mrbrown's #iamsingaporean tweets every year (Y) (Tankew! -mb)
45. @mrbrown: National Day still got tuition and revision. #iamsingaporean
46. @mrbrown: Would never wear or buy anything with a Merlion on it because #iamsingaporean
47. @MothershipSG: #iamsingaporean because I don't carry umbrella out and then it rains.
48. @mrbrown: We love our parks. #iamsingaporean
49. @Hwang_Yihui: When someone living in Jurong dates someone living in Pasir Ris it's called a long-distance relationship #iamsingaporean
50. @funkshin: #iamsingaporean cos I still dunno when to sing "bersatu" and "bersaru" in Majulah Singapura. (But I do! -mb)
51. @ronaldisthewan: Animals teach us when we were young. A lion says be courteous, a bee says be productive, a frog says keep it clean & green. #iamsingaporean
52. @mrbrown: Put. Chilli. On. Every. Thing. #iamsingaporean
53. @thebrainyspecs: Accidentally-on-purpose wearing red today. #iamsingaporean
54. @HongJieOng: Wearing Man U shirt to floating platform later. #iamsingaporean
55. That ecstatic feeling when @mrbrown retweets you #iamsingaporean (Good things must share mah! -mb)
56. @dtio: I follow @mrbrown just because #iamsingaporean (Tankew! It is my honour. -mb)
57. @howwow: Now this feels more like National Day with @mrbrown tweets #IAmSingaporean Happy 49th National Day Singapore! (Kumsiah! -mb)
58. @NeilHumphreys I am kinda, secretly, looking forward to #NDP fireworks and truly have no idea why. #iamsingaporean
59. @jeffcheong #iamsingaporean because is will always sing an extra 'ma' at the end of the national anthem.
60. @madebyjw Happy 49th Birthday, Singapore! #iamsingaporean
61. @mrbrown: Working from home. On a public holiday. Without a shirt on. Because so hot ok? #iamsingaporean
62. @mrbrown: Tweet/Instagram/Facebook until battery dead. #iamsingaporean
Me: "Kids, your uncle is taking you to the Turtle movie tomorrow."
Son: "Yaaaaay! Is it Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles?"
Me: "No, it's Turtle: The Incredible Journey, a documentary."
I can be such a Troll Dad.
After I told them it was really Michael Bay's movie, Isaac whispered to his disappointed younger sister (who probably wanted a less boy-oriented movie), "They are Turtles… and Ninjas."
There is something about watching the Sound of Music on stage that is magical. I love the original movie version with Julie Andrews, for sure, and my kids and I can sing almost all the songs by heart. But watching the stage version has its moments too.
Do catch it at the MasterCard Theatres at Marina Bay Sands before the run ends on 10th of August 2014.
YouTube link: http://mrbrwn.co/1ulGM5G
This year, they said the 49th birthday of Singapore has no new NDP song. So not only did Marc Nair and I write one, we made this music video for you. Sing along and share, ok?
No new song for our nation's 49th National Day? Nair mind! We write!
Here is the song-only version too:
Download or listen via the Soundcloud player above or the mrbrown server below:
Some months ago, my son volunteered me to be a parent volunteer for one of his school outings. When I say he volunteered me, it means I only found out I was to be a parent volunteer after he told his teacher I would be more than happy to be a parent volunteer.
I decided to take the morning off from work to do it anyway. The boys were brought on a social studies tour of Fort Canning Park and since I grew up playing at this very park in the city when I was in the primary school next door, the trip had extra meaning for me.
I had almost forgotten how lovely Fort Canning is. Lush greenery in the midst of the city, clean air and the sounds of birds (and some cars and construction as well).
It made me feel thankful that we still have pockets of nature here in Singapore, filled with history and stories of Singapore. I think it is awesome to have so many trees in Singapore, kudos to our NParks folks.
So when Kleenex asked me be part of their Forest Stewardship Council campaign, I agreed. All you have to do is to take a pledge to make small changes in your own home that will improve the environment for future generations, at their Facebook page, and for every 20 pledges collected, Kleenex will sponsor the planting of a tree in a local park.
You can make your pledge here: http://mrbrwn.co/1rmGzzw
I made my pledge and also placed a wish on the Wishing Tree.
Some of the little things I pledge to do to save the world (and some I am already doing) is to make sure we don't leave the lights and fans on when we don't use them. My kids know the familiar refrain from their father: "Who left the fan on in the room again?"
It is strange to hear myself saying stuff like this, stuff my father used to say to his sons. I guess it rubs off on you.
I also have a slightly bad habit of grabbing more than one tissue from the tissue box each time. I don't know why I do it. Maybe I think two tissues are better than one. I shall use tissues more sparingly from now on.
My children are also taught not to waste water when they wash their hands or bathe. And from their grandma, my kids learn that water used for washing rice and vegetables can be reused for watering plants.
There are so many more small changes I think we can make to save the environment. Share them here in the comments, and do make a pledge and wish at the Kleenex page.
I'd like to see more trees planted in our little island.
For sale: doorway chin-up bar. Used once only. Owner just bought to train for IPPT.
[via Ben Looi]
In other news, you need to do 60 push-ups in one minute to get the maximum 25 points in the new IPPT. And if you did 60 push-ups in a minute, and 60 sit-ups in a minute, you can walk for your 2.4km and still pass.
The Minster of Defence has announced that NS IPPT will be reduced to 2.4km run, push-ups and sit-ups.
Now Lao Peng can say, "In MY time, IPPT was FIVE stations, ok? 2.4km, sit-ups, chin-ups, shuttle run and standing broad jump! And push-ups were used for punishment only. Last time, we collected rubber bands as we ran around the stadium, ok? And the black swimming trunks DAMN ugly, can? You young punks are so lucky."
@Miyagi thinks that next year IPPT will be reduced to one station: slow walk to canteen break.
I think in the near future, it may be even further reduced to 2.4m slow walk to the secret smoking point. And your maid can do for you. Reservists (NSmen) in their 30s or older are allowed to let their NSF sons do their reservist IPPT for them.
In view of the new shortened three-station IPPT, IPPT will be renamed IPT, Individuals Pass Together.
Because of the reduced need for Physical Training Instructors (PTIs), half of the current PTI force will be sent to Guardsmen and Commando course for upgrading. The remaining PTIs will be sent for Encouragement training, to help them cheer servicemen on during the new reduced IPPT, in the four national languages.
PTIs will also now need to provide high-fives and group hugs.
There will be no pass or fail or gold or whatever in the new reduced IPPT. Servicemen will fall under broad categories of Well Done, Not Bad and Good Effort. This is to ensure that they do not feel discouraged by any physical fitness shortcomings and damage their fragile self-esteem.
RT will also cease to stand for Remedial Training. It will end years of soldiers using the term wrongly, as in "You kena RT training ah?", as that would mean one is saying "You have Remedial Training training ah?".
It's like people who say ATM machine.
RT will now stand for Relaxing Tekong. Servicemen who feel like they should do better for the new IPPT can opt to go for Relaxing Tekong, a new spa, facial and fitness centre located on exotic Pulau Tekong, to improve their wellness.
With the new reduced three-station IPPT introduced, the chin-up bars at public park fitness corners will be re-purposed for use in MRT trains for standing passengers.
As push-ups are now part of the official IPPT, the new military punishment will be twenty mild squats.
BREAKING NEWS: The Ministry of Defence Fitness (MINDEFF) would like to clarify that the new IPPT is push-ups, sit-ups and a 24km run.
They apologize for the extra decimal point.
MINDEFF also announced that if servicemen do not wish to do the 24km run, they can opt for the alternative three-station IPPT where you do the sit-ups and push-ups… while doing the 2.4km run. Below ten minutes. To pass.
YouTube link: http://youtu.be/HKMNKS-9ugY
We made it to John Oliver's show! Yay!